We had the opportunity to catch up with singer/songwriter Jenni Alpert, who we saw again at the 2015 NAMM Show one year after meeting her for the first time (click here to read that chat).
Enjoy our new conversation below!
Rock Cellar Magazine: What have you been up to the past year or so, since we last met at NAMM 2014?
Jenni Alpert: Wow was that a year ago already?
Well, from playing SXSW 2014 for D’addario and Planet Waves’ showcase, to being invited to support and touring the East Coast with Irish singer songwriter Luka Bloom on the Head and Heart Tour that spring to follow, to spending time writing and recording work tapes and playing locally for a while in New York thereafter, to recording four songs in four hours live in the studio with Adam Levy (Norah Jones) Paul Redel, Tyler Chester, and Mark Stepro at Boulevard Recordings in Los Angeles (Clay Blair, Engineer and Owner), to then driving cross country to Nashville with shows set in place from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, experiencing Americana Fest in Nashville, to then residing back and fourth between Nashville and New York between the fall and winter developing a new album writing new songs, recording and painting there, learning the ropes of the south, touring and performing regularly, all the while meeting fantastic new folks along the way, to then returning to Los Angeles for NAMM 2015 and being invited to play the Gibson Guitar booth, to then return back to Nashville and given an opportunity to record live at County Q in Nashville with Guthrie Trapp – Off The Cuff engineered by Rob Matson, one could say a journey of a thousand miles does begin with a step, and in this case, lots of gusto, focus, commitment, and tanks of gas.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Did you go to NAMM 2015? If so, how was that experience? Do anything cool there?
Jenni Alpert: NAMM is of my favorite times of year where I get to see new music and tech products on the floor and run into friends and colleagues who are just as busy as I. This year I had an especially great time with all the folks at Gibson. The new D’addario capo is pretty fantastic and as it so happened the awesome folks there gave me a perk package of strings, with a tuner and capo just in time for the Gibson showcase.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Any exciting projects in the works?
Jenni Alpert: It’s not every day that you show up in a new town and are given an opportunity in a recording studio, be your self, record a selection of your songs live, and do it with some talented locals. And that is exactly what happened while I was in Nashville. I am super proud of this fresh new collection of recordings that are in the works and can not wait to share the experience with you. Special thank you to all the wonderful support in Nashville, to County Q; Paul Scholten, Rob Matson (engineer), Guthrie Trapp (guitar), Jason Domenech (assistant engineer), Josh Mendez (film), Carrie-Johnson and Jason Smith (film and stills) for being an incredible team to work with.
Stay tuned for the recordings and videos of Live at County Q – Off the Cuff
Rock Cellar Magazine: To anyone unfamiliar with your music, what can they expect when
diving into your catalog?
Jenni Alpert: Right now my music is right here for your ears and raw sitting somewhere in between Soul, Americana, and Pop Singer-Songwriter. Other people have said:
Powerful sultry vocals … interactive style grabs audience … has an amazing stage presence”
- “Lilting yet biting vocal delivery, in a genre of music that has been steadily probed since Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, the very capable guitar style of Alpert herself grabs listeners attention more effectively, wonderful tunes and some very talented musicianship”
- “Alpert has her own style, commanded attention on stage, quite an experience watching that happen, laced with sharp rawness that came from an unknown depth”
- “Her compositions are really rich, accessible melodies that are still able to make you feel like you’re hearing something new and exciting, down to earth feel in her writing by weaving her genuine feelings into her songs”
- “Her note perfect voice has won her the opportunity to lay tracks in every little musical corner”
- “Alpert takes her musical talent one step ahead, a real do it yourself kind of artist. She waits for no one.”
Rock Cellar Magazine: What’s your favorite city/venue to play in?
Jenni Alpert: The road is my home. Anywhere the music brings me is where I belong. I have no favorites really, as I enjoy touring and performing globally. Fortunate enough to have garnered opportunities in Europe, Australia, across the US, Israel, and Asia on chutzpah and persistence alone, I can say that I have the utmost gratitude for music supporters and tastemakers for giving my music a chance to be heard.
Rock Cellar Magazine: We notice that you tend to work a lot with non-profits. Are there any you are focusing on right now? Why them?
Jenni Alpert: I have worked closely with a few non-profits; Downtown Women’s Center LA, Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency, Children of the Night, American’s Blood Center, Nashville Rescue, The Christine Ann Center (WI) and Musicians On Call (NY, Nash, Philly).
I pick organizations that represent challenges, healing, education, and support that I feel are important with regard to rehabilitating anyone who is in need of help and hope specifically in realm of foster care, adoption, homelessness, donating blood, and visiting the ill. The reason I believe these organizations are important is because I believe a community starts with the strengths and awareness of the individual and that everyone deserves and equal chance at growth and development especially if in their early childhood years or perhaps somewhere along the way in their lifetime they weren’t offered the opportunity to in safe, healthy, and loving ways. Being that I was adopted at the early age of four, my compassion is large for those who didn’t have the same experience and secures as most. At the moment Musicians On Call has been my focus this year because they operate both in Nashville and New York where I have currently been writing and recording music most of the time. During the day when not in sessions, I work with MOC in the hospitals singing songs from room to room to make someone’s day a little brighter, which I think is really important and hope more people take the time to volunteer.
Support Musicians On Call:
Rock Cellar Magazine: What are your plans for the rest of this year?
Jenni Alpert: Well, in this industry plans aren’t exactly the route to release. In fact I have discovered the exact opposite. Ever since I left Los Angeles with a car full of instruments, coffee, music, and a tent, I can honestly say this past year has been one of the most fruitful in my career thus far in that most every moment has been so exhilarating and interesting that living in the moment has become more of a reality and road to success as I define it rather than being stuck in the past or focused on hopes and wishes of some future. I have met incredible people both talented and supportive and have not only been inspired personally, but also musically and creatively.
I can not begin to thank you people enough. However, I do in fact have some goals in mind, one being the release of a new record if not possible two, combining some of the experiences I have recently had in the studio and possibly utilizing those experiences to create a new musical concept with a team of people. I am also focused on returning to Europe to perform in the countries I regularly sing in: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, and Italy with perhaps a few new additions to boot. This idea is in the works, yet I know that what actually will transpire musically in this next year whether it be all of the above, some of the above, or something derivative of the goals above, its gonna be a great ride with a fantastic team.
Catch you out there on the road!